OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — So far in Douglas County, there are 17 confirmed cases of omicron.
"The biggest concerns that we from the medical community have is that the transmissibility — or the ability for it to transmit to people very easily — is much higher than what we've seen with other strains, including delta and lambda," pediatrician Dr. Shannon Godsil said.
Godsil is seeing more cases among families and among exposures.
"From Children's Hospital standpoint, we have seen some of the highest number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients as compared to what we saw this time last year especially," Godsil said.
With more exposures and transmissibility, that potentially means more serious symptoms since it means a whole population that can't get the vaccine.
"That population is five and under, that's what we're seeing hospitalized, that's the group that we're seeing hospitalized right now, especially nationally," Godsil said.
With New Year's Eve fast approaching, Nebraska Medicine's Mark Rupp says folks need to stay out of a "line of fire" by keeping gatherings small, and potentially doing some testing before an event.
"New Year's Eve tends to be a celebration where there's a little bit of drinking involved, sometimes this will result in people lowering their guard. Now is not a good time for that. I would stress for folks to be a little more prudent in their celebration of the new year," Rupp said.
"I know it's difficult, I know that everybody wants to get back together, but we really are trying to tell all of our families to be mindful of the groups of people that can't protect themselves right now," Godsil said.
Rupp says getting your booster is protective against more severe illness, hospitalization and death.